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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a bit o’ green

Whether you’re Irish or not, you can show your St. Patrick’s Day spirit by drinking an ice-cold mug of green beer. The best part of this Irish delicacy? You don’t have to break the bank by going out and purchasing it at a bar. Green beer can be an easy at-home concoction that only requires your favorite beer and food coloring.

There’s a bit of a trick to achieving a bright green hue and keeping the brew nice and foamy, though. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be saying “cheers!” in your roughest Irish accent

It’s important to choose a light-colored beer. A pilsner, IPA or light beers are all excellent choices.  If you really love dark beer, it is possible to make it green, but you will have to be OK with having a green grin because your teeth will, without a doubt, turn green.

Once you’ve selected your beer, you’ll need to put four to six drops of green food coloring in the bottom of a glass. The darker the hue of the beer, the more drops you’ll need. I suggest going with a liquid food coloring as opposed to gel, as it will mix with the beer more easily. Don’t use blue! You may think it will mix with the yellow color of the beer to make green, but since the colors aren’t pure pigments, you’ll end up with more of a turquoise.

The food coloring will mix with the beer as you pour. Don’t stir the beer. Stirring will likely make it go flat. This is also why it is important to put the food coloring in first and pour the beer over it. Putting the food coloring on the top won’t allow the color to evenly mix without stirring.

If you’re not one to mess around in the kitchen, following is a list of green beers and refreshing Irish beers that will be served this St. Patrick’s Day and where you can find them to take in the holiday festivities.

Beer in Review

This St. Patrick’s Day season you can’t really go wrong with where you decide to celebrate. I’ve picked a few traditional beers that will be green, along with Irish favorites that are served at a few joints in Douglas County. I then embodied my inner wine critic, taste-tested all seven brews, and now have put forth my personal opinion on each.

I encourage those willing to go out and test these beers for themselves. See what fun aromas and flavors you can pick up! As always, be safe and line-up a safe, sober ride before starting your night of festivities.


Miller Lite

To help reminisce of music festivals and concerts, the American pale lager Miller Lite will be offered as a green beer at the Brandon Liquor Store, D Michael B’s, and Depot Express.

Pouring with a small, airy head that is quickly gone, Miller Lite has a light, watery hop. The aroma is grainy, mildly grassy and has a vague metallic hint. There may be a touch of cardboard, but it’s definitely not a skunky beer. The taste is a bit sweet with a corny, malty flavor. The best and most accurate way to describe this beer, as a whole, is in its name, and that is “lite.”

Coors Light

Another pale American lager, Coors Light will bring you right back to those warm summer days on the lake. Zorbaz and the Brandon Liquor Store will be serving greenified versions of this warm-weather transportation liquid.

A clean pour, this beer has a small, quickly vanishing white head. There is a yeasty aroma along with the faint smell of straw. With a light lemon note, you can find some barley and corn flavor and a hint of hops in the taste. With an ultra-light body and a dry finish, this is a balanced, refreshing and inoffensive beer.

Michelob Golden Light

A classic pale lager, Michelob Golden Light will be served in a green form at The Brandon Liquor Store, Angelina’s and Raapers. Nothing will remind you more of college days and rowdy parties like a little McGoldy brewed in St. Louis.

This pours with a large, frothy white head that dissipates quickly. There is a slightly skunky aroma that allows you to pick up touches of carrot, grass and wheat. With sweet malt tones, the flavor is like a crisp vegetable with floral hops and a hint of fresh cut honey. Generally, it is a smooth, mixed taste.


Finnegans Irish Amber

It may be brewed in Minnesota, but don’t let this steer you away from the Irish ale Finnegans Irish Amber, which will be served at the Elks Lodge and Angelina’s this St. Paddy’s season.

The pour is light in color with a fluffy, ivory head. It has pretty light notes when it comes to the aroma with vegetal character, but overall is pretty thin. When it comes to flavor, this beer has a buttered copper taste. It’s not overly bitter or hoppy and even tastes a bit like cereal. It has a medium body but seems to be overly assertive with its carbonation, which in turn is its downfall.

Finnegans Blonde Ale

Another Finnegans beer brewed in Minnesota that you’ll be able to find during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend is Finnegans Blonde Ale. Angelina’s and Elks Lodge will be serving up this golden ale.

A delightfully bright gold pour with a pure white head, this beer has a light body and prickles with carbonation. The aroma has tart, fruity accents that accompany toasted grains. However, the flavor is sharp and seems heavy on the corn taste. Small hints of bitter can be found but it’s well disguised. Strangely, the beer seems to impersonate heavy bodied ale. Imposter!

Bell’s Hopslam Ale

Make room for Bell’s Brewery’s winter seasonal double IPA, Bell’s Hopslam Ale. This baby flew off the liquor store shelves this holiday season, but you can still get a tall glass of it at Doolittles.

It pours a hazy brownish orange with a frothy, orange-white head. The aroma is refreshing and original with a pine needles scent accompanied by an accent of peaches. There are also slight notes of cookies and biscuits. The flavor is crisp and biting, loaded with various citrus tones and dominated with excellent hops that don’t leave any excessive bitterness. With a quite powerful body, this is one delectable beverage.

Guinness Special Export

A foreign stout hailing from Dublin, Ireland, you can find Guinness Special Export draft at Benni- gan’s this St. Patrick’s Day.

The beer pours a rich, dark color with a thin head that sticks around. The aroma is of a classic dark lager, hinting at caramel and smoky bacon; you can’t go wrong with bacon. The taste is slightly bitter with some hints of hops and dryness, along with that smoky flavor that you first sense in the aroma. With full body and soft carbonation, the texture could be described as oily or even a tad creamy. Overall, it is a soft, rounded taste.

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
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